Thursday, June 5, 2014

Parenting:Efforful Control - Stop Must Think

When I was teaching, I often used sign language with the children. It caught their attention and made my words visual. "Stop-must" was a great sign to use if a child across the room, or across the playground, needed to hear a quick and insistent "no!"

There are times when we parent were a quick "stop-must" is the best way to handle things. However, if this is the only way we teach our children how to behave, we are not doing a very thorough job.

 Research tells us that discipline works best when it encourages children to stop and think. This tells the brain that the learning is important, and it helps to develop effortful control which is the ability to control behavior, emotions and attention. Effortful control is important to learning, building friendships and developing a conscience.

The next time you are dealing with a discipline situation try one of these questions:

1. Are you safe?
2. Are you learning something good?
3. Are you being kind?
4. How would you feel if someone did that to you?
5. What could you do differently?   

Taking time to teach these questions and to discuss things with your child will help to make your discipline more effective. Cognition + consequences will encourage good behavior.  

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 
(Deuteronomy 6:7, ESV)   

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